I'll post some excerpts of it to give you an idea on what we are up against in fighting to make BP do what is right in the wake of the damage they are causing to the Gulf, its inhabitants and our country as a whole.
Years of Internal BP Probes Warned That Neglect Could Lead to Accidents
A series of internal investigations over the past decade warned senior BP managers that the company repeatedly disregarded safety and environmental rules and risked a serious accident if it did not change its ways.
Similar themes about BP operations elsewhere were sounded in interviews with former employees, in lawsuits and little-noticed state inquiries, and in e-mails obtained by ProPublica. Taken together, these documents portray a company that systemically ignored its own safety policies across its North American operations - from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico to California and Texas.
ProPublica Report on the Extensive History behind BP's Deliberate & Willfully Egregious Safety Violations
With the reporting we have seen on how deeply ingrained the safety violations are within the entire BP company is, on every level, it is surprising to me that they have been allowed to continue to operate. It also shows that simply fining this company means absolutely nothing to them and they see these fines as simply the cost of doing business, rather than an attempt to get them to follow the rules and regulations set in place.
We also know that just recently. How recently? Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Yes just 2 weeks ago. This spill didn't get any real publicity due to the ongoing spill in the Gulf but it happened, and no doubt will continue to happen as long as BP is allowed to operate, as they have proven time and time again that safety is low on the list of priorities for them in scheme of things.
Oil spill shuts down Alaska pipeline
A power failure at a pump station along the trans-Alaska pipeline caused up to several thousand barrels of crude to spill into a containment area Tuesday morning. The station, which has failed before during maintenance operations, is located near Delta Junction, about a hundred miles south of Fairbanks.
The trans-Alaska pipeline is operated by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., a consortium of five oil companies. BP, which is currently dealing with a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, owns a majority interest of 47 percent.
Alaska Dispatch Report
The 'other' spill BP will be keeping quiet
With the Gulf Coast dying of oil poisoning, there's no space in the press for British Petroleum's most recent spill
Few in the US know that BP owns the controlling stake in the transalaska pipeline. Unlike with the Deepwater Horizon rig, BP keeps its name off the big pipe.
There's another reason for the company to keep its name off the pipe - its management of it stinks. The pipe is corroded, undermanned and "basic maintenance" is a term BP has never heard of.
How does BP get away with it? The same way the Godfather got away with it, bad things happen to folks who blow the whistle. BP has a habit of hunting down and destroying the careers of those who warn of pipeline problems.
In one case, BP's CEO of Alaskan operations hired a former CIA expert to break into the home of whistleblower Chuck Hamel, who had complained of conditions at the pipe's tanker facility.
BP tapped his phone calls with a US congressman and ran a surveillance and smear campaign against him. When caught, a US federal judge said BP's acts were "reminiscent of nazi Germany."
This was not an isolated case. Captain James Woodle, once in charge of the pipe's Valdez terminus, was blackmailed into resigning from the post when he complained of disastrous conditions there. The weapon used on Woodle was a file of faked evidence of marital infidelity. Nice guys, eh?
(H/T Regina @ Palingates for this link)
BP's Cost Benefit Analysis
The Daily Beast has obtained a document—displayed below—that goes to the heart of BP procedures, demonstrating that before the company’s previous major disaster—at a moment when the oil giant could choose between cost-savings and greater safety—it selected cost-savings. And BP chose to illustrate that choice, without irony, by invoking the classic Three Little Pigs fairy tale.
The BP spokesman, Scott Dean, tells The Daily Beast: “Those documents are several years old,” and that since then, “we have invested $1 billion into upgrading that refinery and continue to improve our safety worldwide.”
The Daily Beast Uncovers Shocking Memo re: BP's Cost Saving Analysis
So BP spokesperson Scott Dean states that they "continue to improve our safety worldwide", yet as we've seen from the ProPublica article that is just not true. Perhaps in other parts of the world they have tried to improve safety but certainly not here and in fact they, along with others in the Oil & Gas Industry are working very hard to ensure that regulations do not get tougher for them, and are willing to spend a lot of money to see that come to fruition.
Oil Companies Weigh Strategies to Fend Off Tougher Regulations
The oil and gas industry is a formidable presence in Washington. It spent more on federal lobbying last year than all but two other industries, with $174.8 million in lobbying expenditures, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group.
Political action committees set up by the oil and gas producers contributed an additional $9 million last election cycle to Congressional candidates, with Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, Valero Energy and Chevron leading the way, the data showed. (BP ranked 19th, with $75,500 in contributions, most to Republicans.)
Oil & Gas Industry will Spend Millions To Help Them Fight Tougher Regulations
NASA has been keeping track of the spill and has some pretty amazing pictures of the spill and how it is spreading. They do have an "Oil Spill Page" which you can visit and see some of the unique and varied images they offer.
This is but one example of the pictures that they have:
Ribbons and patches of oil that have leaked from the Deepwater Horizon well offshore appear silver against the light blue color of the adjacent water. Vegetation is red.
It can seem overwhelming taking in all this information, and I know first hand how distressing it can be to think of this stuff day in and day out, but we have to stay informed, we have to know what we are facing, both in terms of the damage that is happening now, and the damage we can expect to see in the future from the effects of this spill, but we also need to know and understand why & how this happened as well as what we can to to prevent this from happening again. We will never make the Oil & Gas industry 100% safe, but we can make it safer, we can force them to follow tougher regulations, we can work towards ending our own oil addiction that has allowed these companies to get to this point of power and control over us and our environment, and we can change how we think about allowing our politicians to fight for these companies over what is best for this country as a whole.